Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist Winners

What a wild ride it was at this year’s Carrot Ranch rodeo! Check out the fabulous stories from the “Travel with a Twist,” category. I’m thrilled to have won first place! ❤

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

By Sherri Matthews

Well, we asked for travel stories with a twist, and we got ‘em.  Thank you so much to all who entered, 29 in all. You’ve taken us around the world (twice), to Rome and through most of Europe, to Morocco, Lima, on sun-drenched holidays including the Caribbean and Hawaii, up mountains, along the coast, to a Harry Potter conference in San Francisco, a monastery, Lake Michigan, Key West, Rock Springs and the weird and wonderful Garbled Creese. We’ve walked, ran and hiked, and travelled by car, cruise ship, plane, bus, motorhome, and broomstick.

The high quality and enjoyment of every story, however, did not make it easy for the judges.  I don’t like this part of the job! First, I verified every story’s word count and sadly had to eliminate 2, one just under, one just below 99 words. Then we narrowed it down with each of…

View original post 1,476 more words

“The Wild Hunt,” A Nonet Poem

This week, I’m adding another poetry format to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge that is similar to the Etheree, except there are nine lines instead of ten. Everyone loves the Etheree, and I just couldn’t wait till the beginning of the new year to add a similar form. ❤ Many thanks to Jane Dougherty for the suggestion.

You can find the instructions on how to write the Nonet poem under the menu item: Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Challenge Guidelines. (P.S. I need to update this page)

For this week’s challenge, I used the word algid for cold, and purest for safe.

How to write a Nonet Poem:

A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc… until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject. 

line 1 – 9 syllables
line 2 – 8 syllables
line 3 – 7 syllables
line 4 – 6 syllables
line 5 – 5 syllables
line 6 – 4 syllables
line 7 – 3 syllables
line 8 – 2 syllables
line 9 – 1 syllables

Poetry Base shares:

Nonet 

Because of the hourglass shape of a double nonet, it can be used to represent time’s passage.

http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/001/184.shtml

The elements of the Nonet are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of 9 line stanzas.
  2. syllabic, 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 syllables per line.
  3. usually unrhymed.
Image Credit: germanicmythology.com

“The Wild Hunt”

The phantom calling of the huntsmen
resounds during the algid night
gliding through the purest air
perceived in cloudy shapes
howling on the wind
a sign of war
or a sure
fatal
end?

© 2018 Colleen M. Chesebro

The Wild Hunt is a mythological event where a ghostly group of hunters passes overhead in the night sky in wild pursuit. (Wikipedia.com)

If one sees or hears the Wild Hunt it is believed to be a portent of war, or death, or a combination of such events. 

Check out norse-mythology.org to learn more.

Winter is coming…

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Adele Marie Park

Conversations with ColleenThe October Edition (1)

Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to share with you one of my dearest friends, Scottish author, Adele Marie Park. Over the years, Adele and I have formed a common interest in all things magical, and especially our love for the faerie craft.

When I asked Adele to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE, she didn’t even blink! We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions.

Adele

Adele is also a member of the Sisters of the Fey blog, a group of eight authors who came together to share their love of all things magical. Adele’s specialty is all things pagan. She shares tarot readings and even a few tried and tested spells! Check out this post HERE. ❤

Please meet my guest, Adele Marie Park.

Adele Marie Park
Scottish Author, Adele Marie Park

Scottish Author, Adele Marie Park was born in the north-east of Scotland, and at the age of six months, she moved to live with family on the Orcadian island of Rousay.

Her childhood was surrounded by the tales and legends of old, and these became the themes and beliefs she’s carried with her through life as they now emerge and live within the pages of her books.

Adele’s first published book is “Wisp,” a tale of murder, passion, and intrigue set in the mythical world of Edra.

She has won awards for her short stories and many have been published in successful anthologies.

Her writing crosses genres between fantasy and horror but is always character driven by transforming the pictures and characters in her head as if by magic onto the pages of her books. Her belief in magic, faeries and the paranormal has never wavered.

She connects with people through her writing, and her wish is for everyone to live every moment of the story and feel it as if they has been on the journey with the characters.

When not writing, she enjoys painting and playing music. Her preferred instrument is the guitar although she has been known to play the tin whistle.

Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for the invitation to do this interview. What fun!

You’re welcome. Adele, you and I have crossed paths in the blogging world for about four years now, so I know how sensitive and kind you are. What was the first book you read that made you cry?

Although the book I’m going to talk about is not the first to make me cry it is the one which is most poignant. “Clan of The Cave Bear,” by Jean M Auel. For those who haven’t read the book here’s a synopsis:

“Leave 21st century London and go back to Ice Age Europe. Follow Ayla, a Cro-Magnon child who loses her parents in an earthquake and is adopted by a tribe of Neanderthal, the Clan. See how the Clan’s wary suspicion is gradually transformed into acceptance of this girl, so different from them, under the guidance of its medicine woman Iza and its wise holy man Creb. Immerse yourself in a world dictated by the demands of survival in a hostile environment, and be swept away in an epic tale of love, identity, and struggle.”

(Click HERE to find “Clan of the Cave Bear,” by Jean M. Auel on Amazon.com)

There are some terrible scenes in this book but the one which made me weep was the death of Ayla’s adoptive mother, Iza.

I was brought up by my aunt Adeline and uncle Tommy. As I read the paragraph, tears filled my eyes and for the first time, I thought about Adeline dying. I wept so loudly she came upstairs to my room to see what was wrong. When I told her she hugged me and told me that wasn’t going to happen. A few years later, cancer took her away from me.

I haven’t been able to read the book since.

I can tell you’re an empathic writer. Can you tell us how being empathic affects your writing?

I feel everything that my characters go through, every loss, pain or heartache. My characters are so close to me that I can not help but feel what they go through. I am an empath, having only found out in the last couple of years what that means. It has been an experience which has freed me. Now, I am able to say I am an empath and I’m not the only one.

 READ: What is an Empath

Does it lend a reality to my writing? Yes, I think it comes across. If I weep because one of my character’s experiences a loss of who they hold dear, I want my readers to do the same. I want my readers to become so engrossed in the story that it transports them into my world. That is what I aim for in my writing.

As a writer what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I have several spirit animals. They make themselves known to me when I need them or when they sense that I need comfort. Years ago, when I first started writing again, it was a green dragon. He kept me sane in a very horrible chapter of my life.

Later Wolf came along and inspired me to trust others again and to make peace with myself. When I write now, Wolf is here, but so is otter when I need to lighten up and remember how to play.

Bear is one animal who has been with me since childhood and she brings in the peace of the great mother. Owl and eagle bring me clarity and dreams.

I thought over this question and realised that in every short story or novel that I’ve written, there is usually an animal featured as a prominent character. I can’t choose just one, I can’t.

Do it(CLICK HERE to learn more about how to find your own spirit animal. 

You are so receptive to the vibrations of the universe, Adele. How do you use that superpower to select the names of your characters?

The characters arrive in my head with their names already picked by themselves. My head resembles Grand Central Station at times. All these characters wandering about waiting for me to write about them. It’s quite magical.

Sometimes the idea for a story arrives first. After that, the characters show up. It’s interesting, but they always choose their own names. I don’t think I’ve ever had to change a character’s name. Although, I have changed details about the character, with their permission, of course.

Writers often believe in their writing muse, which is separate from a spirit animal. Do you believe in the muse?

I definitely believe in the muse. I sense mine is female and recently I feel there are two. The old tales warn you never to anger your muse lest she leaves you, so I keep mine as sweet as I can.

People might laugh at these old beliefs today but, what if they are true? Better to pay your respects to the old beliefs than to have your muse turn away from you. Did you know that even Tesla is reported to have credited some otherworldly presence in helping with his inventions? I think that’s fascinating!

There are times when I suffer from writer’s block.  That’s when I call on the muse to help me. I think with everything in life if you are respectful and remember your manners you can’t go wrong.

I read and reviewed Adele’s book, “Wisp.” You can read that review HERE.

Thanks, Colleen for the great discussion. ❤

Social media

How to contact Adele Marie Park

Blog – Firefly 465

Facebook 

Twitter @Binky567

Barnes & Noble

Amazon:

UK – USA – CA – AUS

k luv u bye Thanks for stopping by to meet Adele Marie Park. Read Wisp! You’ll love it! ❤

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Dim Continent: Series Finale (The Legend of the Gamesmen Book 3),” by Author, Jo Sparkes

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

The Legend of the Gamesmen

More than mere sport, the gamesmen stand for an idea. That humble men can win the day, that the lowly are not so low. That the least of men may yet succeed. This is the tale that launched the legend. 

The Women of Agben use potions to heal and enhance. Now Marra knows of a third use, one that brews goo capable of detecting a prince or a potion to hide a creature’s appearance. It’s forbidden – and being wielded against Tryst’s throne.

Its key ingredient grows only on the Dim Continent.

Journeying with her mentor to this fabled place, she stumbles on another secret. Agben allows Terrin females into the order, the same hairy creatures that kidnapped a king. Now the trust that bound the two species together is rapidly corroding.

Marra doesn’t know Prince Tryst has also pursued the traitors to this wild, dangerous land. Or that Drail travels with him, to provide gamesmen cover.

In a land of strange beings and dangerous animals, the three friends must again pool their skills, this time not just to save themselves – but to save all their people. The fate of Skullan and Trumen alike depend on defeating a powerful enemy who has plotted their destruction for centuries.

The final battle looms in the evil heart of power – the Dim Continent.

Title: The Dim Continent: Series Finale – The Legend of the Gamesmen Book Three

Amazon Author Page: Jo Sparkes

Publication Date: August 30, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science fiction & Fantasy, Children’s E-books, Fantasy & Magic, Sword & Sorcery

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION: 

I’ve read and reviewed the first book in the series, “The Birr Elixir,” HERE. Book two is “The Agben School,” and you can read my review, HERE. Please note: The Author as changed the book covers from my previous reviews. ❤

At the Agben school, Marra has learned the art of concocting potions that help to heal and enhance. She has a keen sense of smell and this ability helps her surpass all expectations.

But when she stumbles upon the concealed body of King Bactor, she also discovers there exists a forbidden potion that can change and deceive appearances, found only on the Dim Continent.

The Skullan empire is under siege and the healers of the Agben school are forced to act. One of their own, Rain, has grabbed more authority for herself by betraying the trust of their order and escaping to the Dim Continent. Could this evil have spread to more of the healers? The time has come for Kirth and Marra to venture to the Dim Continent to seek out the truth of Rain’s deceit. 

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone-shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball has distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth.

As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The Skullan and the Trumen are the usual gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom. But this time the game is different. On the Dim Continent, they encounter the Terrin. Huge hairy, long-fanged beasts that play to win. Even the Skullan are out of their realm, now.

Meanwhile, the elder Kirth, Marra, and a female Agben Terrin, named Tinge set out to make things right. Their only hope is to get to Rain before any more damage can be done!

This has been a delightful epic journey and if you love epic fantasy you will love this series. Jo Sparks has created fantastic lands, filled with creatures you will never forget. I found this story from start to finish to be quite unusual in the realm of fantasy. It was a pleasant surprise.

The author devises characters that are rich and multifaceted, often motivated by human needs. I found the inclusion of the game of Comet to greatly enhance the story. The game paved the way for the different peoples to relate to each other. And, in much the same way, the book will appeal to everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed the series. 

I received this book as a gift from the author and because I enjoyed the novel, I chose to review it. 

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

About the Author:

Author, Jo Sparks

From television shows to football articles, Jo Sparkes can’t put the pen down. She’s interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism”.

An award winning writer, she lives happily in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their dog, Oscar.

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog:  josparkes.com

Facebook: Jo Sparkes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sparkes777

LOVE FANTASY? I got your back! This is one series you will enjoy! 
Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

The Literary Diva's Library

Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.

ASBRC may2018

Don’t forget to join us in the #ABRSC, Author Blogger Rainbow Support Club on Facebook. See you there! ❤

Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 112, “Cold & Safe,” #SynonymsOnly

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! Except for the first challenge of the month ~ then, the poets get to choose their own words. ❤

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

POETRY BOOKS ARE THE PERFECT GIFTS!

December is Poetry Book Review Month on my blog. I will be reviewing many of our challenge participant’s books which will be my featured Wednesday book review throughout the month. All books (but especially Poetry books) make lovely gifts for your co-workers, bosses, and that special someone in your life. Consider purchasing books from those you know. The Kindle App is free and can be added to your phone, tablet, or computer. ❤

Noted

By the way: We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can. There are no tests, and I don’t grade your work. LOL!

The most meaningful change you will learn about is in writing a Haiku vs. a Senryu. Also, remember, pronunciation in various parts of the world will affect your syllable count. Go with your gut on deciding the syllable count. You are the poet and the creator of your work.

I sponsor this challenge to help poets learn how to write various forms of poetry. Remember, if you are sending your poetry for publication in literary journals, contests, or self-publishing, you should know the correct forms and use them.

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:

PLEASE NOTE: This challenge is for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first-person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first-person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.

Cinquain ALSO: Check out the Cinquain variations listed here: Cinquain-Wikipedia These are acceptable methods to use. Please list the form you use so we can learn from you. 

Etheree The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format. Poets can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but the idea is to follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Reversed Etheree Syllable Count: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Double Etheree Syllable Count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have IRONY present. Click the link to learn the meaning of irony.

Image credit: Pinterest.com

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.

I don't get it

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain links to the participants.

WRITE YOUR POEM ON YOUR BLOG as a post.

You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A.

This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the Recap I publish on Monday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words. Choose synonyms from those words for your poetry. You, the poet, now have more control over the direction of your writing. Follow the rules carefully. Don’t use the prompt words.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Recap published each Monday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

Don't forget

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY.

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Senryu, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree

Visit Robbie Cheadle’s Poetry Sharing Group on Facebook! JOIN TODAY!

Robbie Cheadle has set up a public group on Facebook called: “Poetry Sharing Group.”  If your blog has a Facebook share button, I will be sharing your work in Robbie’s group. I’ve noticed that your posts get lost in the abyss of nonsense on Facebook. I think this is a great way to share our work with other poets. Please click the link above to join this group. Remember, sharing is caring! Thank you. ❤

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Here are the TWO prompt words for this week’s challenge: “Cold & Safe,” #SynonymsOnly

Have fun and write some poetry!

Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 111, “Celebrate & Number” #SynonymsOnly

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the work of poets from around the globe. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: Don’t forget to count your syllables. Use this site: howmanysyllables.com. Click on the workshop tab. Then, copy and paste your poem into the box, and click “count syllables” at the bottom.

For some, this challenge is a way to learn more about writing in English, even though it’s the American version. English is a second language to many of our participants.

I also understand that accent and inflection play a key roll in the way you say certain words and this will change the syllable count. Here is my compromise: Please try to get as close to the syllable count as possible when writing these syllabic forms of poetry.

This challenge is not for free-verse poetry. ❤

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week, who has shared an exceptional message, or shown an impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception, so don’t be shocked if you don’t feel the same way about a poem that I do.

This week, I’ve chosen Sally Cronin, from her blog, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, and her poem, Celebrate & Number Etheree, as the Poet of the Week.

I loved the message of this Etheree and how nicely the words flowed – fitting together as perfectly as the message suggests. Everyone has embraced the Etheree form and I’ll be adding some additional forms in January. As Sally’s blog suggests: Variety is the Spice of Life. ❤

© 2018 Sally Cronin

Choosing a favorite poem was extremely hard… again! There was a fabulous collection of Thanksgiving poetry which ranged from joyful celebrations to difficult family get-togethers… All part of the season. Each poem is worth a read! Remember, everyone reads poetry differently, so always be respectful of the poet’s perspective. ❤ I’ve mentioned a few here:

Thanksgiving | So It Goes 1984

Gatherings – Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Haiku: Supper | The Dark Netizen

Wednesday Words Poetry Challenge: Celebrate and Number (Synonyms Only) – My Corner 

Happy Thanksgiving – Rejoice | WILLOW POETRY

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Celebrate & Number | The Showers of Blessings

Congratulations to ALL of you for your hard work!

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 111th POETRY CHALLENGE USING SYNONYMS FOR THE WORDS: “Celebrate & Number”

COLLEEN’S WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 111, “CELEBRATE & NUMBER,” #SYNONYMSONLY | But I Smile Anyway…

Thanksgiving | So It Goes 1984

Tanka Tuesday: Celebrate & Number – Jane Dougherty Writes 

Haiku: Supper | The Dark Netizen

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge #Etheree | anita dawes and jaye marie 

Time and Photos #tanka #haibun #haiku | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge Number & Celebrate | Annette Rochelle Aben

An Aging Ritual~ #etheree #PoetryChallenge | Night Owl Poetry – Dorinda Duclos

RINGS AROUND THE SUN | Poet’s Corner

Rite of Passage… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Wednesday Words Poetry Challenge: Celebrate and Number (Synonyms Only) – My Corner 

Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro – Tuesday #Poetry Challenge

No 111 -‘Celebrate and Number’ #Etheree | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

When The Saints – Let Me Tell You the Story of… 

Happy Thanksgiving – Rejoice | WILLOW POETRY

Gatherings – Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Tanka Tuesday – mourning | Twenty Four 

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 111, “Celebrate & Number,” #SynonymsOnly | willowdot21

#Synonymsonly Colleen’s 111th Challenge- Celebrate and Number – Wendy Anne Darling – YA Fantasy Author

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Celebrate & Number | The Showers of Blessings 

Destiny | Stuff and what if… 

Keeping the Peace | like mercury colliding…

Halcyon | Charmed Chaos

Mercury Retrograde | D. G. Kaye, Writer

Be Woke | Aweni.net

It’s cold and windy HERE! Stay warm and get ready to write some poetry for Tanka Tuesday Tomorrow!

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Abbie Johnson Taylor

Conversations with ColleenThe October Edition (1)

Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!

This week I’m happy to bring you another new author I’ve just had the pleasure of meeting, Abbie Johnson Taylor. She’s been participating in my weekly poetry challenge each week. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE.

We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions and learn from each other.

First, please meet my guest, Abbie Johnson Taylor:

abbie-12

Author, Abbie Johnson Taylor

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and is currently working on another novel. She has a visual impairment and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes.

Before that, she was a registered music therapist, working with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities. She taught braille, facilitated a support group for the visually impaired, and served on the advisory board to a state trust fund that allows people with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment.

Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this interview. I’m so looking forward to our chat.

Hi, Abbie. It’s great to meet you. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I am writing under a pseudonym of sorts. My legal name is Abigail Louise Taylor, but I’ve published most of my work as Abbie Johnson Taylor. Johnson is my maiden name, and when I got married to Bill Taylor, I decided to use both names out of love and loyalty to him.

He passed away several years ago. Since I still love him, and the process of changing my name back to Johnson is too complicated, Taylor I will be. For the foreseeable future, I will continue to publish my work as Abbie Johnson Taylor.

What a sweet thing to do, Abbie. So, do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

All my books are different. We Shall Overcome is a romance novel about a young woman with a visual impairment who falls in love with a policeman and must learn to trust him while the local sheriff must overcome a stereotype regarding his teen-aged daughter’s disability.

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver is a collection of poems mostly inspired by my caregiving experiences after my late husband suffered two strokes that partially paralyzed his left side.

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems contains material inspired by life events.

My Ideal Partner: How I met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds is a memoir about how I met and married my late husband and cared for him after he suffered two strokes until he passed.

That’s a great collection of books. Tell me, do you base your characters on real people?

Yes, some of my characters are based on people I know. In “We Shall Overcome,” the character of a doctor was inspired by Hawkeye on MASH, and my main character’s father was inspired by my own.

In “The Red Dress,” a novel in progress, my main character’s self-centered roommate is based on a girl by the same name who bullied me in junior and senior high school. By the way, I’ve seen her from time to time as an adult, and she’s always been friendly, so I’m glad to see that bully grew up.

Wow! So, am I. There’s always hope that a bully will change and it sounds like yours did. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?

I had been a registered music therapist, working for ten years with senior citizens in nursing and other facilities, when I was bitten by the writing bug, so to speak, in 2000.

For the next five years, I wrote short stories, poems, and my first novel, We Shall Overcome, when I could. It wasn’t easy because I was often working forty-hour weeks.

When I married Bill, he persuaded me to quit my day job and write full time, convincing me that we didn’t need my income in order to live. I’m glad I did. I consider him my hero. If he hadn’t come along or if I hadn’t married him, I might never have developed the courage to change careers.

I have to ask. You’ve led such an interesting life. Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes, in “We Shall Overcome,” there’s a scene in which a policeman approaches my main character, while she’s walking home, and asks her if drivers are stopping to let her cross streets with her white cane. This actually happened to me. Because of my own visual impairment, I also use a white cane.

By the way, there is a white cane law that requires drivers to stop to let a visually impaired pedestrian with a cane cross streets. Anyway, I’d just jaywalked the street in front of my apartment building and stopped to talk to a neighbor in a wheelchair when she told me a cop was behind me. I turned and thought for sure I was going to get a ticket.

To my surprise and relief, he asked me about drivers stopping to let me cross busy intersections. Stunned, all I could do was tell him that sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t, and he said he would bring it up at roll call. Needless to say, I haven’t jaywalked since.

I’m glad to hear that! Thanks so much for stopping by, Abbie. I enjoyed learning about your books. ❤

How to contact Author, Abbie Johnson Taylor:

Blog: https://abbiescornerwordpress.com

Facebook: Abbie’s Corner of the World

k luv u bye Thanks for stopping by to meet Abbie. Until the next time.

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “What’s in a Name, Volume Two,” by Author, Sally Cronin

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.

Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son. 

Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.

In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.

Title: What’s in a Name, Volume Two, Stories of Life & Romance

Amazon Author Page: Sally Cronin

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories & Anthologies, Romance

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I read and reviewed What’s in a Name, Volume One HERE. This second volume continues where the first book left off. The first story begins with “Kenneth,” and the rest of the stories flow through to “Zoe.” The author includes a bonus story at the end called, “The Village Square.”

Prepare to be transported into the lives of the many personalities, Sally Cronin creates, inspired by a first name only. Each person’s name has a different tale to tell or life to lead, all carefully constructed to draw the reader into their experiences. Linking the stories together are the themes of romance and family. Need I say more?

I’m a great fan of short stories and find them some of the most satisfying bedtime reading there is. But, this book offered more than that. Sally Cronin writes in such a way that she evokes a range of emotions from the reader.

On numerous occasions, I couldn’t help but cheer or cry for several of the characters. The writing touched my heart.

Many of the stories are filled with plenty of sudden developments that will leave you guessing. Some, I couldn’t even attempt to guess the ending, which I found to be a special gift to the reader. Each story is character driven, and the author skillfully reels you in until a satisfying end is reached.

My favorite story was called, Queenie, who after the death of her husband, finds her way forward by taking on a project that matters most to her – her granddaughter’s happiness. Queenie’s granddaughter, Penny, is a psychiatrist and unmarried. 

Nana (Queenie) decides that she must help her find a husband before she is called to her husband’s side in the great beyond. Of course, there are plenty of shenanigans that take place, but the underlying truths that unfold touched me deeply. This is the author’s style – she allows you to feel her stories.

The “What’s in a Name,” two book series, has proved to be one of my most favorite short story compilations. I’ll reread these stories, and greet them like long lost friends. Believe me; there’s something here for everyone!

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System
Sally Cronin – Author & Blogging Community Organizer

About the Author:

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics, and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70 kilos. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course, come back for more.

REVIEWS are so very important for an author and I am very grateful for the feedback that my books receive. If you have purchased or been gifted one of my books I would love to hear what you think about it. I do have some areas that you can help me with so that I can develop as a writer and it is in this post:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/how-can-we-encourage-more-readers-to-leave-reviews-for-our-books/

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

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How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

TWITTER@sgc58

FACEBOOKSally Cronin

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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

The Literary Diva's Library

Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.

ASBRC may2018

Don’t forget to join us in the #ABRSC, Author Blogger Rainbow Support Club on Facebook. See you there! ❤

“The Circle of our Love” – Flash Fiction

November 15, 2018, Carrot Ranch Literary Community prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses scraps. It can be scraps of dried flowers, paper, metal, fabric, food — any kind of scraps you can think of. Then write a story about those scraps and why they matter or what they make. Go where the prompt leads you.

Respond by November 20, 2018.

Image from Pixabay.com

Sally watched Nana roll the scraps of dough into a ball on the floured cutting board. This was her first time baking, and she couldn’t wait to mimic every move her grandmother made.

“Why do you roll it into a circle?”

Nana smiled as she maneuvered the rolling pin. “Because it’s easier to fit inside the pan.”

“But you could use a square pan, right?”

“Yes. I could, but the circle reminds me of our family. I gave birth to your mommy, and she gave birth to you. If we all hold hands, it’s a circle of our love.”

Here’s to your baking success this holiday season!

P. S. I’m buying a pie! 😀

Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 110, “Pleasant & Read”, #SynonymsOnly

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the work of poets from around the globe. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: Don’t forget to count your syllables. Use this site: howmanysyllables.com. Click on the workshop tab. Then, copy and paste your poem into the box, and click “count syllables” at the bottom.

For some, this challenge is a way to learn more about writing in English, even though it’s the American version. English is a second language to many of our participants.

I also understand that accent and inflection play a key roll in the way you say certain words and this will change the syllable count. Here is my compromise: Please try to get as close to the syllable count as possible when writing these syllabic forms of poetry.

This challenge is not for free-verse poetry. ❤

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week, who has shared an exceptional message, or shown an impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception, so don’t be shocked if you don’t feel the same way about a poem that I do.

This week, I’ve chosen Ethan Eagar, and his Etheree poem, “Derelict Adventure,” as the Poet of the Week. 

The first thing that caught my eye, was the fact that he realized the word, read, could also be used as the past tense – read. He used the words, Dulcet & Flush (a transitive verb for the color of Red which is a homophone of the past tense of Read, which has a different pronunciation).

I like that kind of vision and quick thinking. Stretch the boundaries and make the words work for your own creativity. 

The Etheree speaks of the fate of the many print books stuck on dusty shelves, unread and unloved. I like the flow of his words and the way he asks us to question the care of our own books. Will print books become obsolete? He hints at this message, without saying it. Well done!

book-863418_1920

lost
cover
forgotten
buried in shelves
skittish print dust bound
dulcet yet derelict
flush with want, packed full of life
voracious for discovery
but time bodes ill of this adventure
pale refuse neglected by its seeker

© 2018 Ethan Dale Eager

Image Credit: Aimhappy.com

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 110th POETRY CHALLENGE USING SYNONYMS FOR THE WORDS: “Pleasant & Read”

Today #tanka #haiku | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Senryu: The Book | The Dark Netizen

Lightness | thoughts and entanglements

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge Pleasant & Read | Annette Rochelle AbeColleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge Pleasant & Read | Annette Rochelle Aben

Derelict Adventure (Etheree Poem) | Ethan Dale Edgar

An Early Christmas with Haibun Poetry – Sharing With Others –

Prince Charming ~ #Etheree #PoetryChallenge | Night Owl Poetry – Dorinda Duclos

#Tanka Tuesday: Pleasant & Read – Jane Dougherty Writes

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 110, “Pleasant &s Read,” #SynonymsOnly | willowdot21

Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Challenge #110 – Pleasant & Read #MicroPoetry #Senryu | But I Smile Anyway…

Seek Out ~ #Tanka #PoetryChallenge (part 2) | Night Owl Poetry – Dorinda Duclos

Engage – thehouseofbailey

Contemplation: A #TBT #TankaProse (11/13/18) – Frank J. Tassone

Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro – Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 110 – #Etheree “Pleasant and Read” – Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Pleasant Read – A Reverse Etheree | like mercury colliding…

Fantasy… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Saffron Dreams – Charmed Chaos

Colleen’s Tonka Tuesday Challenge #poetry #haiku #pleasent #read – Christina Herd Poems and Flash Fiction

Friday Fun Poetry Challenge: Pleasant and Read (Synonyms Only) – My Corner

Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge – Synonyms only – Join the fun! | D.G. Kaye, Writer

On the Edge | Stuff and what if…

Poetry Friday ~ Pleasant & Read | The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

Tanka Tuesday – moon | Twenty Four

Wishes & Dreams | Yesterday & Today: Merril’s Historical Musings

#Poetrychallenge – read and pleasant |Roberta Writes

Congratulations to all the poets who participated this week. You all deserve a huge pat on the back! Make sure and read tomorrow’s post as there will be some news that I think will make all of you happy. ❤

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Tanka Tuesday. Stay tuned for the new challenge!